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 Promoting Poetry in Scotland

At Poppys | edwin morgan

 

Karen you know this is quite improper.

These eylashes were on my dressing-table.

It’s no use telling me you never saw them.

If you’re after Monsieur Jack you can forget it,

he likes the natural look. I know you took them,

I’m not accusing you of anything, just

telling you. You’re such a slut in waiting.

Fishnets all right, but fishnets with finesse, dear.

Hunks have their niceties, they may be shyish

yes, laugh, it gives you away that, raucous—

I said real men are sensitive to details,

and if you have to be an understudy

then you must study. Just because you’re younger

you won’t be jumping rungs, that I can tell you.

Get yourself together, get some nous. Darling

don’t sulk. A quick pout sometimes can work wonders

but I assure you permanent creases downward

from the mouth are death, a lower lip thrusting

upward death plus one, so re-lax. Now I’ve

got my eyes back I can sweep you up and

down and well, if you simply stopped cultivating

those passé sultry slouches you’d have something.

Books, that’s it, book on head, walkabout.

What’s this old thing, a Trollope, that’ll suit you—

I can’t read titles, never mind, here take it.

Now let me see you walk. The calves! The shoulders!

Tell your body who’s the boss. Do it!

Forward. Round. Mind the table! Back. Smiling!

Don’t look as if you’d prunes that hadn’t worked yet.

Carriage! That’s what we want, like in the old days.

Carriage, my dear, as if you’d melt a ballroom

merely by flowing down the stairs in satin,

at the last step twitching a few lightnings

with one hand as you show a shoe, hide it,

and take the floor. Karen you’re not listening!

I keep a good house here. What do they pay for—

sleaze queens? You don’t want class you’re not for Poppy’s.

Pick up the book. Once more. Don’t strut. Walking!

happiness | the bearsden shark | heaven | my day among the cannonballs